Aqueous Kicks off Fall Tour In Syracuse, NY
Buffalo based groove rockers Aqueous kicked off their 2019 fall tour with a bang Thursday night at the Westcott Theater. The improv heavy four-piece returning to the road after a mere two weeks of downtime, which according to guitarist/vocalist Mike Gantzer, “felt like an eternity.” Eager to get back out and do what they still love, the band showed up in Syracuse fully rested and ready to rage. A new tour, a new light rig and most noticeable to AQuaintances (Fans of Aqueous), a gorgeous new D’Angelico guitar for Uncle Mike.
After a strong opening set from Connecticut power trio Lespecial which featured several unreleased new songs, a Schism tease and a mosh pit inducing version of T-Mobile, Aqueous took the stage a little after 9pm. Opening with an older tune called What’s the Connection?, it was clear there was a bit of a hometown feel to this show, as many in attendance had made the manageable trip from Buffalo to ‘Cuse to see the local boys make good.
After nailing down a minor issue with the drum kit, How High You Fly came next, followed by a new Aqueous song, Be the Same. From there came the first big jam of the night, a re-worked uptempo version of the AQ favorite Numbers and Facts. After a brief pause, Gantzer took to the mic to ask where “his 90’s kids were at?” With that, the first cover of the night, the pop-punk Blink 182 classic Dammit, a high energy take that had the whole crowd shouting along. Next up, a 4 song Neon Dong sandwich, the meat being the always tasty Timmy’s Blades and then another surprise cover, Oysterhead’s Pseudo Suicide, surely a nod to the recently announced Trey Anastasio /Les Claypool reunion shows.
After a brief smoke fueled intermission, Aqueous returned to the stage and came out swinging. Opening with guitar/keyboardist Dave Loss’ namesake song, the band seamlessly moved into arguably the jam of the night, a lengthy version of Skyway, complete with a nifty light show, a Purple Haze tease, and also marking the first time bassist Evan McPhaden has used his new Tremolo pedal in front of a live crowd. Another well received cover song was up next, a dance party inducing take on Chromeo’s Jealous. Wrapping up the second set with purpose and gusto, a Complex sandwich, featuring the biggest bust out the night in the middle, Wandering, which hadn’t been played in the previous 110 shows. Returning to the stage for a one song encore, drummer Rob Houk teased us a bit with what sounded like Smashing Pumpkin’s Cherub Rock, but quickly shifted gears back into the AQ fan favoite Origami, much to the delight of all those who stuck it out well past the witching hour on a work night.
Set 1: What’s the Connection?, How High You Fly, Be The Same, Numbers and Facts (1), Dammit (2) > Neon Dong (3) > Timmy’s Blades > Pseudo Suicide (4) > Neon Dong
Set 2: Dave’s Song > Skyway (5,6,7), Jealous (8), Complex, Pt. I (9) > Wandering (10) > Complex, Pt. II
1- New arrangement, fast
3- New arrangement, 808 version
5- w/o intro
6- Evan used his Tremolo pedal for the first time
7- Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix) tease
9- New arrangement, fast
10- Bustout, LTP 4/21/18 (110 shows)
Soundcheck: How High You Fly, Numbers and Facts, Eon Don > Timmy’s Blades > Psuedo Suicide > Eon Don, Jealous, Complex pt. 2 w/ new intro, Dammit